Getting ready for adoption
“Psychologically-the hormones make me very irritable and reacting to everything.
Physically- there is water retention and swelling in my body which adds on to my pain of injections and humiliation that I go through in due course of my treatment.
Financially-lots of money spent, especially in the beginning of our new life, adds on to my stress.
Relationship with my husband is mostly spoiled because of the irritable hormones and general situations and my rising expectations.
Social Circle: Suddenly all of them seem so interested in my life and give so many suggestions. Everyone expects to see me with a round belly, if not then they consider me as ill.”
The above lines were the experience narrated by a 32-year-old lady who along with her husband opted for an infertility treatment as a solution to fulfill their craving for a child. In today’s scenario, a countless number of people experience the same as this lady because all of them feel that life is meaningless without the gift of becoming a parent.
For that reason, thousands of people every year attempt infertility treatments. Some find success and many do not. According to surveys & research conducted, only 30-35 % of women under 35 years of age will become pregnant through infertility treatments. Knowing all these factors and probabilities very well, most of the couples still choose to go through the physical, emotional, psychological, financial stress not once but multiple times just to have an opportunity to lead a meaningful, fulfilling lives alongside their children.
Many couples whose first attempts are unsuccessful try again and again. With each failed attempt, more money is lost and most of the times woman suffers mental and physical effects from the treatment. My question to such couples especially to women would be, don’t you think your goal eventually is to become a parent and not pregnant. What would give you the true happiness? Mere child birth, or being able to effectively raise a child. I totally understand your feelings and emotions connected to being able to give birth to a child, the mere thought of being in your shoes leaves me in tears. But sometimes life leaves us with little choice and one needs to break the stereotypes and think rationally to be able to lead a peaceful life.
Adopting a child is one option that such couples have but it is critical for couples and their families to evaluate their expectations and be realistic about their limitations. For some reason, adoption has a negative stigma associated with it, partly due to the horror stories that we have come across. But what we have to remember is that adoption is designed to bring healing to a child who has been abused, neglected, abandoned or unable to be cared for by the birth parents. It is because of this that adoption is even considered an option.
Today’s article is for all those lovely couples who are eagerly waiting and preparing to parent a child with different set of genes. The nine months of pregnancy gives the couples time to prepare not only for the labor and delivery skills but also for the camaraderie that develops between the expecting families. Similarly, in my opinion couples who decide to go for adoption as a choice should take enough time to prepare themselves and their families to accommodate the new member in their family. The better prepared your family is, the more you will feel ready to navigate the waters of adoption. Here are a few suggestions:
While waiting, adoptive parents can follow the lead of pregnant women (and their partners) in getting ready for a new child. You can slow down your lives and take a look at any unhealthy patterns, such as smoking or excessive drinking, that you want to change. In the absence of outward signs of impending parenthood, you might want to develop a private ceremony in which you ask your close friends and family to help you begin the transition to parenthood. Friends and family could share stories, poems, or nuggets of advice.
Getting Comfortable with adoption
The waiting period is also a good time to become familiar with adoption issues and to discuss how to talk about adoption with your child and with people outside your family. Research how the birth parents might be addressed or included in your child's life. Consider how information about your child's background will be revealed to him, and when. Parents through adoption may have many issues to resolve. There is the loss of a biological child. There are questions about identity, sadness at the inability to nurture a child from conception, and uncertainty about whether the relationship with an adopted child will be a fulfilling one. Parents who acknowledge these issues and explore how to deal with them are in a better position to accept an adopted child as their own, to feel entitled to be their child's parents, and to honor their child's genetic influences and biological connections.
Communication is the key
Couples often find that their relationship has been stressed by the demands of infertility treatments and/or the adoption process. It's easy to move from focusing all your energy on conceiving a baby to focusing it on adopting a baby. Waiting parents can use time together to talk about parenting styles, discipline, religious education, and other child-raising issues. Communicate with family members and close friends about adoption. People who have not adopted sometimes make comments or ask questions that are insensitive. Let friends and family know how you intend to include your child's birth family in your life, how adopted children view extended family, and how they can be supportive.
The waiting time seems to go on forever, but keep your focus on the outcome. Your child is certainly worth the wait.
(The author is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Learning Arena, an e-learning company)